The Braves' new deal with Ervin Santana can only be met with guarded satisfaction by fans, because unfortunately, the news came on the heels of reports that Kris Medlen is injured and could need a second Tommy John surgery.
With Medlen likely to miss the entire season, Santana will certainly help the Braves in 2014, but the long-term implications of the deal might not be as cut-and-dry.
Our own Matt Sullivan called the Braves and their new pitcher "settling soul mates," and that certainly appears to be the case.
Atlanta emerged as a suitor for the 31-year-old righty only after the news of Medlen's injury came out. As for Santana, a one-year deal is far from what he was seeking at the beginning of the offseason.
FanGraphs' Jeff Sullivan summed up the deal well in his headline: "Ervin Santana Accepts Qualifying Offer from Braves, basically".
In the article, Sullivan points out the duplicitous nature of Santana's choice to sign with Atlanta.
"The goal now is to try to build value to re-enter free agency in the fall. Also to win, but Santana wants to prove to the market that he can be both healthy and effective and that his 2013 wasn’t a fluke."
It appears as though Santana based his decision, at least in part, on the Braves' park -- which is much more pitcher-friendly than Baltimore's Camden Yards or Toronto's Rogers Centre.
Here's a look at what some of the other experts from around the game had to say about the deal.
Prediction: Scott Boras tells Ervin Santana "you didn't make $14 million, you lost $50 million," and handles his free agency next year.— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) March 12, 2014
Well, we know it won't be Bean Stringfellow ...
Maybe Alex Anthopoulos can trade for Ervin Santana.— Navin Vaswani (@vaswani_) March 12, 2014
Anthopoulos spoke about the "one that got away" with the Toronto media, saying Santana did not want to pitch in the American League.
As Ervin Santana pondered his decision, one factor kept coming up: He wanted to pitch in NL. Atlanta became a factor late and he was sold.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 12, 2014
FanGraphs' Dave Cameron tweeted a statistical comparison of Medlen and Santana using numbers from last season.
Twins asst GM Rob Antony said they made three-year offer to Ervin Santana because they were looking to build, not keep him for one year.— LaVelle E. Neal III (@LaVelleNeal) March 12, 2014
Despite Santana's impending presence in the NL East ...
Alderson: "Ervin Santana deal has no effect on Mets"— In Mets We Trust™ (@InMetsWeTrust) March 12, 2014
The Sporting News' Jesse Spector says the Braves "can thank the rest of the league's foolish devotion to draft picks" for their deal with Santana.
"Baseball’s draft is so uncertain, it is mind-boggling that teams have attached so much value to their first-round picks, especially outside of the top 10, which are protected from being stripped as free agent compensation. The draft is the great lie that all sports like to tell to fans, pretending that it really reshapes the competitive landscape by directing the best young talent to the teams who are most in need of it."
The Royals did pretty well in their short time with Santana.
Brandon Sisk and $12 million for a 3-win season from Ervin Santana and the 28th pick in the draft. Well done by Dayton Moore. #Royals— Kevin Agee (@Kevin_Agee) March 12, 2014
Happy the @ErvinSantana_54 found a home today. We will miss you in KC but good luck in 2014 Magic! #Braves— Jeremy Guthrie (@TheRealJGuts) March 12, 2014